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charlie, computer cat

December 2017

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candle trail

Strike day

So, an unexpected day off. Actually, it's not really a day off as my union is not striking, a decision I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I do think that many of the education policies pursued by the current government are misguided and dangerous and demonstrate serious misapprehensions of and disrespect for the role of the teacher and profession of teaching. The government doesn't seem to listen to anything the profession has to say on this so perhaps we need to shout, as it were. On the other hand, I find it very hard to believe that this will actually do anything to change those pre-conceieved views and may in fact encourage them to entrench themselves further into the belief that teacher are all left wing zealots who are secretly inclucating a socialist revolution and must be stopped via the medium of performance related pay and a strongly transmissive* curriculum. That's somewhat confused but it does genuinely seem to be what Gove thinks sometimes. Put a little less strongly, I think it may bolster an us vs them attitude in the DoE which can hardly be productive. But then nothing else is and that attitude is already there to some extent so we have to play the cards we're dealt. As I say, ambivalent.

Anyway, as my union is not striking but my school is closed, I do get something quite valuable which is a day to catch up on my paperwork and marking without any distractions, which is rather nice but of course I am procrastinating by writing a journal post about my feelings about the strike. I don't think this counts as fighting the power either way.

I also wonder where we go from here. Will there be more strikes if nothing changes (and I find it hard to believe that anything will)? Will the government offer some piffling alteration and the unions accept it as the best they can get? Perhaps there are more duvet days in my future.

* Not a weird insult but a taxonomy (I think by Askew but I haven't got my notes at home) about how teachers believe learning is achieved - he divided teachers into constructionists (who believe that learning is constructed through collaboration between teacher and learner), discovery-ists (who believe that learning is discovered by the learner if the right environment is provided by the teachers), and transmissives (who believe that learning happens through teacher instruction in specific methods and facts).

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